UNWTO’s 17th Executive Program in Da Nang boosts tourism policy – TravelDailyNews Asia
This initiative aims to enhance the resilience and adaptability of the tourism sector, particularly in human resource development, addressing the critical need for skilled management in the post-pandemic era.
In Da Nang City, UNWTO and Viet Nam National Authority of Tourism (VNAT) in collaboration with Duy Tan University organized the 17th UNWTO Asia/Pacific Executive Training Programme on Tourism Policy and Strategy.
The event had the attendance of H.E. Mr. Doan Van Viet – Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Mr. Nguyen Trung Khanh – Chairman of VNAT, Mr. Harry Hwang – Director of the Regional Department for Asia and the Pacific, UNWTO, Dr. Le Cong Co-Head of Duy Tan University, Ms. Ji-eun Kang – Director of Tourism Policy Division (under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Republic of Korea).
Tourism researchers and experts from 19 countries and territories in the Asia-Pacific region and leaders of businesses operating in the tourism sector of Da Nang City and the Central region of Vietnam also joined the program.
In welcome remarks at the opening ceremony, H.E. Mr. Doan Van Viet commented that the global impact of COVID-19 has made the whole world realize the role and importance of the tourism sector in economic development and improving human lives. Now, tourism itself is actively contributing to socio-economic recovery and development after the pandemic.
According to the report of the Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization at the recent 25th General Assembly, international visitor arrivals in the first 7 months of 2023 reached about 700 million, recovering 84% compared to the same period of 2019. However, the Asia-Pacific region is slower than other regions in the world while the Middle East welcoming more visitors than before the pandemic. This poses a common challenge for the region, as well as brings many opportunities if the region knows how to grasp them.
To recover and develop the tourism industry in this new period, it is necessary to recognize and rethink tourism in a sustainable and self-reliant direction, paying more attention to green growth and applying technology and digital transformation in destination management and promotion. Besides, it is impossible not to mention the essential role of human resources, especially high-quality human resources at the management level.
Under the title “Human Resource Development in tourism – Navigating Post-Covid Challenges”, the program was sensitive, prioritizing solving one of the industry’s biggest difficulties after the pandemic, which is to satisfy the quantity and quality of the tourism workforce.
According to Mr. Harry Hwang, Director of the Regional Department for Asia and the Pacific, UNWTO, the UNWTO Panel of Experts is also of the view that human resource shortage remains a serious problem for tourism businesses as they struggle to meet high travel demand, for example in the case of Asia-Pacific, the recent reopening of several source markets and destinations in the region, especially from China.
This is exacerbated by the fact that the pandemic has caused mass closures and layoffs of tourism businesses, leading to workers having to be redeployed to other areas of business. It is clear that the exodus of workers from the tourism industry has exacerbated the skills shortage, said Mr. Harry Hwang.
Mr. Tran Chi Cuong, Vice Chairman of the People’s Committee of Da Nang City, said that Da Nang City is positioned as a major economic and cultural center and the international gateway of the Central region of Vietnam. Up to now, the city has a complete infrastructure system, facilities, tourism service supply chain, diverse and unique tourism products and basic human resources. Da Nang received many awards and titles as Asia’s Leading Event and Festival Destination in 2016, 2022 awarded by World Travel Awards; Top 3 best cities in Southeast Asia in 2022 voted by Travel + Leisure Magazine; My Khe-Da Nang is in the top 10 most beautiful beaches in Asia in 2023 voted by TripAdvisor.
Da Nang City will continue to pay attention to creating the best conditions, supporting UNWTO, and domestic and foreign organizations to organize more meaningful events to help destinations improve their service capacity, innovation, and creativity, he noted.
The UNWTO Asia/Pacific Executive Training Programme on Tourism Policy and Strategy is an annual event to share information and improve the capacity of member countries. The 17th program takes place from 13-16 November including the opening ceremony, the UNWTO Forum on Human Resource Development in Tourism and panel discussions, keynote presentations, Q&A sessions, discussions, and country presentations; four sessions with topics such as Education for the tourism of tomorrow, A shift in customer expectation and its impact on HRD, Upskilling, and digital adaptability, Building greater resilience to crisis.